The next week they introduced soul sleep. I had a very hard time with this one and after the teaching I went in the bathroom and had a breakdown. I lost my father when I was 12 and had always been comforted by him being in heaven. The pastors wife came to the bathroom to console me. The reasoning for this the bible says and so and so slept. And grossly twisted what Jesus said on the cross to the thief. Pastor and wife continued to come to my home.
The next week they taught one could lose their salvation if they didn't do works. I'm just shell shocked at this point but I continued to attend each week and it starts to get blurry what was taught each week. So I will sum it up.
Sabbath keepers are the only ones that would make it to the Resurrection. Sabbath keepers replaced Israel. Non Sabbath keepers was the mark of the beast.. if you didn't keep the Sabbath you couldn't be saved.
Jesus took on our corruption..
Satan was a scape goat for sinners
We've been in the judgement phase since 1844
They pushed Ellen G White books as a second gospel.
There is probably more but my psyche was traumatized. I became afraid and felt like I wasn't worthy of Salvation. I started having panic attacks. I had been attending the church on the Sabbath and each service caused me more anxiety.
I eventually quit attending because my car broke down.. I praise God for that. But not attending Sabbath caused me more anxiety I eventually started doubting God's existence. I had a crisis of Faith. Anytime anyone would talk about God I would shut down like a kid with their ears plugged saying lalala. Until that day with that radio talk show... It was like a light shine down on me.
I didn't know it then but I was being introduced to a cult using cult behaviors to draw me in. It was very deceptive and I was vulnerable because I didn't know my scripture. I was not armed. But let me tell you that it has never happened to me again.
My heart goes out to people in that church because they are in bondage and their hearts are for the Lord and always working to be found worthy of being saved.
This explains to you why I am the way I am. And why I post the way I post and the issues I am so adamant about.
Thanks for being interested enough to ask. That's my story!
Thanks for sharing your experience. So interesting! And sounds like an incredibly emotionally and spiritually draining experience.
Religious groups can have such an intensity! And insistence! And arrogance! Not limited to any one group, but devotion in many forms can bring out the zeal... and then some...
Regarding your experience: Was it the content of the ideas themselves that were intensely distressing, or was it the demeanor of the people and how they treated you?
(I got that the idea of soul sleep rather than immediate heaven was upsetting to your worldview, and your beliefs about your father's post-death experience, but the other things like the investigative judgment or scapegoat or vegetarianism or the theology of Ellen White --- were they themselves also shocking or merely confusing?)
I get that the -- I think traditional?-- view of eternity-in-hell upsets people for sure. I knew that some people did not agree
with conditional immortality/annihilationism/soul sleep, but even though I've talked to people about it a lot I never had heard anybody share how much it upset them to learn the conditional immortality view of the afterlife.
When it comes to religious groups that are intense and adamant -- It's the control thing and/or grab for money that can be so insidious.
Were they extremely personally controlling and did they try to get a lot of money from you? (if you don't mind my asking)
My grandfather had such an intensity (Armstrong church, a descendant of SDA)
He was willing to send them money. But there were almost no other followers in the area so we weren't browbeaten by anybody.
The talk about the end of the world coming soon was scary.
But the talk of the dead sleeping and then being resurrected (rather than heaven or hell) has stuck with me as a foundational lesson in remaining skeptical of "what everybody else believes" I remain skeptical of the traditional (I guess) view which seems to me like the alternate view.
I've followed a lot of groups on Facebook about that very topic (conditional immortality vs eternal conscious torment)
On the plus side, you managed to get away from a group that hounded you with their version of "the truth" and didn't seem to understand what upset you or help you with it. It sounds suffocating!
Myself, I would enjoy trying to visit an SDA church. The theology they teach is closer to what I was used to from childhood.
Of course I would walk right away from them if they were oppressive, demanding, or insensitive.
The obstacle for me would be feeling like a cultural outsider to both groups that are nearby
My sense of their take on the Sabbath is heavy handed though (as my grandfather's group was) and from what I have learned since I don't think Gentiles are supposed to observe the Sabbath the same way Jews are commanded to. This I learned from reading up on Noahides.
Thanks again for sharing. It is always so interesting to hear how people's experiences and what they were taught, when, and by whom -- and how all of that shapes their beliefs and attitudes.
I hope talking about it is a little freeing and not upsetting. 😇